Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Awesome 80's

Were you a child of the 80's? I was born in 1972, but the 80's are the some of the years I most fondly remember.

It was all about the music.

It was a time where I could discern whether someone was friend-worthy by quizzing them on their music preferences. Did they like Depeche Mode? U2? Oingo Boingo? R.E.M.? George Michael? Pet Shop Boys? Totally.

It went even further than that. 80's music could help me get to know someone better. When Jeremy from drama class caught my eye and I noticed a huge THE SMITHS sticker on the back of his car, I listened to their music. And I liked it. So, I liked Jeremy. (The feeling did not appear to be mutual, but that never stopped me from stalking someone...) In fact, because I was a bit boy crazy back-in-the-day, I discovered all kinds of great music! Red Hot Chili Peppers. Happy Mondays. Cowboy Junkies. The Church. They Might Be Giants. All discovered when investigating music that some boy liked. Rad!

I well remember the year I was given a portable pink radio with a stripey shoulder strap for my birthday. I would jump on my beach cruiser, throw the radio over my shoulder and listen to some sweet tunes as I rode to the beach, along the strand, and all over town. It was a particularly good day when "We Are the World" would come on - that song always made me smile. "That's What Friends Are For" was another favorite. Who didn't love Dion Warwick and Stevie Wonder?? Awesome.

There were songs that seemed to be written for me. Songs that knew my heart and made me cry. There were songs that made me laugh. Songs I had to dance to every time I heard them, no matter where I was. Songs I could sing along to at the top of my lungs and songs that brought me quiet reflection. And you know what? I still love music today as much as I did then. It still speaks to me. It's like a friend who understands so many aspects of my life and can put it all into the words that I lack.

So, maybe the 80's were a time for some crazy clothing, gaudy jewelry, overdone makeup and unique hairstyles... but that was when I gained my love for music - in all its diversity. And for me, that makes it all worth it.

9 comments:

Teachinfourth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Farscaper said...

Oh my goodness. You just reminded me of a group I haven't listened to in a long time. (not on your list). It was an 80's flash back.

The Toy Dolls - www.thetoydolls.com
They are the creators of songs like "YOU AND A BOX OF HANDKERCHIEFS" and "FLORENCE IS DEAF (BUT THERE'S NO NEED TO SHOUT)" and the ever popular "NELLIE THE ELEPHANT".

You would have never heard them on the radio. My bro's friend from the UK introduced this band to us. If you're ever sad.. you HAVE to listen to their albums "Dig that Groove Baby" or "A Far out Disc". You will be dancing around and singing about some elephant named Elphant who packed her trunk and trampled off to the jungle.

Rena said...

hello again, Gerb. I, too, was all about the music. Still am, to be honest. I was just wondering if it was Jeremy McCollum you spoke of? Oh, and to fascaper, LOVE the Toy Dolls!
oh, this is Rena again, don't know if it shows my name.
ALSO - BEAUTIFUL NEW BABY BOY!

H.L. said...

I love the 80's. Awesome music.

Rebecca said...

My 80s version of iTunes was my double cassette tape deck on my stereo. I would record my favorite radio station until one tape was full, and then dub my favorite songs onto the other tape, so I could listen to some sweet music as I was falling asleep at night, or driving around in the family station wagon. I still remember the first CD my dad bought--you'll love this--it was the "Little Mermaid" soundtrack! Was that still the 80s? It might have been 1990.

Cherie said...

I ditto all you expressed except for one minor little detail!!

Switch the '80's for the '70's!!
(You dig??)

OK wait... here come the fantastic fav's... (all i have to do is think of Album covers and hand written stuff on cassettes popped into the "tape deck" under the dash of my orange Super Beetle)
... Chicago, Boston, Eagles, Doobie Bros, Fleetwood Mac, Boz Skaggs, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Pure Prairie League, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, Carpenter's... more will hit me soon, like when i'm trying to fall asleep at 3 am.
love you Gerb!
("Girl, You bad to da bone!")

Gerb said...

farscaper-
"Nellie the Elephant" I have actually heard before...but none of the others. Gotta love the variety of music the 80's brought!

rena-
Yep, Jeremy McCollum was the one. BTW, for the record, I didn't really stalk him. Just drove by his house at all hours hoping to catch sight of him. I was such a freak.

h.l.-
amen!

rebecca-
That sounds like a good way to do it. I just sat by my radio ALL DAY, waiting for the song I loved so I could record it on cassette tape. Didn't it bug you when the DJs would talk through the intro or end of a song, thus ruining it's full taping potential?

cherie-
I totally dig 70's music, soul sista! You named some classics that I love to blast and sing along to! But, no decade can top the 80's when you combine the music with the culture it brought about. I mean, leg warmers, break dancing, jelly bracelets and shoes, bangs to the SKY, Madonna and Duran Duran look-alikes galore...

annette said...

I openly admit I have a love affair with music. It's there to celebrate when I'm happy and drown in when sad. It makes working fun and driving a blast. The right music can also bring the spirit better than anything I know.

Mom not Mum said...

LOL I think my taste in music evolved much like yours did. I loved much of the same music you listed. I have a wide selection of cd's and sometimes I have to wonder WHAT I was thinking or what boy I liked that would have resulted in the purchase of some of the things I own.